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6 Reasons NOAA’s GOES-R Satellite Matters

6 Reasons NOAA’s GOES-R Satellite Matters


NOAA’s GOES-R weather satellite will soon be launched into space – becoming our nation’s most advanced geostationary satellite to date. So what does that mean for you? Here are six reasons to be excited about GOES-R:

1. GOES-R helps you know what the weather is going to be

Perhaps you turn on the TV or radio, or check your favorite weather website or smartphone weather app to get the latest forecast. No matter the platform of your weather forecast, the data and information for those forecasts come from NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS).


Weather satellites, like the GOES satellites, are the backbone of NWS forecasts. GOES-R will be more advanced than any other weather satellite of its kind and could make the answer to the question “What’s the weather going to be?” more detailed and accurate both in the near term and further out into the future.

2. GOES-R will get better data faster than ever before

Do you live in an inland state, a state with a coastline or a state with a mountain range? Great, that’s all of you! Data from the GOES-R satellite will be a game changer for forecasters in your area.


Here’s why: satellites are fitted with instruments that observe weather and collect measurements. The primary instrument on the new GOES-R satellite will collect three times more data and provide four times better resolution and more than five times faster coverage than current satellites! This means the satellite can scan Earth’s Western Hemisphere every five minutes and as often as every 30 seconds in areas where severe weather forms, as compared to approximately every 30 minutes with the current GOES satellites. Pretty cool, right?

3. GOES-R is a real life-saver

This expedited data means that forecasts will be timelier, with more “real-time” information in them, allowing NWS to make those warnings and alerts that much faster, thereby potentially saving lives.


And a faster forecast is a big deal for our economy. Commercial shipping and aviation are just two examples of industries that rely on up-to-date weather data for critical decisions about how to route ships and safely divert planes around storms.

4. GOES-R helps keep the electricity flowing

We all depend on a power grid for virtually every aspect of modern life. But power grids are vulnerable to bursts of energy from the sun that can affect us on Earth. 


Luckily, GOES-R will be sitting over 22,000 miles above us, and in addition to measuring weather on Earth, it will monitor incoming space weather.

5. GOES-R is truly revolutionary

How different will GOES-R be? Imagine going from your classic black and white TV to a new high definition one. It will enable NOAA to gather data using three times more channels, four times the resolution, five times faster than the current GOES satellites. 


This faster, more accurate data means better observations of developing storms and other severe weather.

6. GOES-R will be a continuing a legacy

GOES-R may be the first of its kind, but it is the heir to a rich tradition of geostationary earth observation. 


In fact, NOAA has continuously operated a GOES satellite for over 40 years. Since 1975, GOES satellites have taken well over 3 million images!


The GOES-R satellite is scheduled to launch Saturday, Nov. 19 at 5:42 p.m. EST aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Liftoff will occur from our Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Learn more about the mission:

Article Credit: NOAA

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